I’ve been debating whether or not to post this news to the internet. Because the internet is forever and far reaching, and I can’t un-ring the bell. But authors are honest and we share our journeys and this is a big one for me.
On Tuesday, September 24th, I met with my doctor and received a diagnosis:
My doctor assured me that of all the reproductive cancers a woman can get, this was a “good one”.
I had gone through several tests over the weeks before the diagnosis: a pap, an ultrasound, and a biopsy, so I had a bad feeling this diagnosis was coming. But I still rode a huge shock wave when the reality of it set in.
I have cancer.
I spent a couple of days telling people. That exercise was tough. I cried, over and over, every time I said the c-word out loud or wrote it in another email.
Then I spent a day getting my worst case scenario ducks in a row. Yes, my Will and Powers of Attorney are up to date. Yes, I made a list of my bills for my adult children, so they can pay what needs to be paid. I created another list of people to call if the worst outcome happens.
On Thursday, October 10th I am going under the knife, to have all of my female reproductive bits removed – uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. The plan is a laparoscopic surgery, which means I would return home same-day.
Of course, bad stuff can happen during the operation. She might find other stuff. She might nick some important organ or vessel while in there. If those things happen it will turn into a full incision and my day surgery could morph into a multi-day hospital stay.
The removed tissues will be sent to pathology. Only then will the doctor “stage” my cancer. So maybe radiation is in my future? Maybe not. Maybe chemo? Those maybes haunt me every night. So yeah, I’m not getting much sleep.
A friend of mine suggested I nickname the disease so I don’t have to use the c-word all the time. I like this idea. I’m tempted to call it Dolores Umbridge, because that particular villain seems appropriate. Especially her pink wardrobe. But I don’t know if I want to taint Harry Potter lore/books/movies by association.
I’ve been working somewhat frantically to prepare. Almost every day I go to another store. I’ve bought a LOT of groceries, trying to anticipate as much as possible so I won’t have to pester friends to shop for me. I asked a friend over to help me do the fall prep stuff: stow patio furniture, move summer things from the garage to the basement, etc. I cleaned the house, and arranged for a housekeeping service going forward. I still have to mow the lawn, although at this point, that task might not get done. And then I arranged for a neighbour to do the last few mows/cuts of the season. So much to do, to prepare for not being able to do things for myself.
I really hate the idea of losing my independence. Especially when I have no idea how long it will be gone.
I hate the idea that the c-box is now ticked. That box will forever be ticked for me. That box might be my undoing. Even if I rise above this bout, well…but I won’t say that part out loud right now. Because I am trying to stay positive. If you know me, then you know how good I am at worrying. There has been a great deal of worry.
So now my news is out there. Now my box is ticked. My bell rung.
I believe that energy and positive thoughts make a difference. So, please if you are willing and able, send some good thoughts/energy into the ‘verse for me. Let’s kick Umbridge to the curb, where she belongs.